Collins & Demac Real Estate



Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 5/8/2014

There comes a time when families start to think about senior members moving. Factors such as retirement, finances, lifestyle, health or the distance between family members are just a few of the reasons why seniors may decide to relocate. Moving is a big decision especially when a senior has lived in one place for a very long time. Many things must be considered, including access to health care, recreation, social activities and practical concerns, such as grocery stores, libraries, climate, etc. Access to Quality Care For many seniors access to health care or options for health care assistance is the primary reason for moving. When considering options it is important look at the short-term solutions, but also consider long term scenarios. Options may include drop-in help, moving closer to a family member that can assist when needed or retirement communities that offer fully independent living to supportive assistance as required. Community Services It is also important to research the area community services. You will want to make note of services such as homecare, cleaning services, snow removal, transportation and home repair. Some individuals may want access to volunteer organizations or senior centers where they can be involved in the community. Support As an older adult, moving is an especially difficult transition. Finding the support the senior needs in the new community is imperative. Groups that seniors can connect with will help the transition go smoother. Connect with church groups, home visit solutions or perhaps meetings that would be conducted in a home setting. Here are some websites that may help you in your transition: •Eldercare LocatorAARPElder Web: Online Eldercare SourcebookAmerican Society on Aging (ASA)Senior Resource Housing: Information on Housing Options





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 8/22/2013

The recent drop in homes prices, affordable mortgage rates and the popularity of television shows showing investors turning over homes has many people wondering if they can make money flipping homes. Flipping a house simply means buying and then selling a home quickly for profit. There are different ways to do this, but if you are interested in buying and selling houses, or just want to find a good deal to invest your money in. You will want to follow some tips on how to make sure you make money and not end up busting the budget. 1. KNOW THE AREA It is not just about the house you want to buy but also the area. Focus on buying homes in an area that holds value and where homes sell quickly. The golden rule of a home, location, location, location, applies here as you will want the home to be able to be sold quickly. Get to know the average costs and days on market for homes in that area. The more information you have about the market you have chosen, the better decisions you can usually make when it comes time to buy. 2. DO NOT GET EMOTIONAL This is a business venture; your goal is to make money. Emotions and money rarely mix well. Do not get emotional about house flipping. When choosing colors, fixtures and carpets go neutral, you will not be living in the home. Be careful of becoming too attached to the flip. Choose a price to sell the home, do not overprice the home. Overpricing typically leads to you holding the flip longer thus reducing your profit. 3. KNOW YOUR LIMITS If you are new to flipping homes, it is important to know your financial and work limits. The budget will always be more than you anticipate, plan for unexpected problems. Start with homes that mainly have cosmetic problems. Look for houses that need new, modern paint or updated fixtures. Homes where the outside yard and landscaping are unappealing are usually a great buy and can yield more profit. Curb appeal is usually a problem that can be fixed very easily and relatively inexpensively while greatly increasing the value of the home. 4. HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY The point of flipping is to get in and out as quick as possible. Every day that you own the homes costs you money. Have a plan and know exactly what you're going to do with the home before you buy. Make a schedule of when work will get done and drop dead date of the house going back on the market. If you don't know if you can sell it quickly, don't buy it.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 11/1/2012

Do you owe more than your house is worth? You are not alone. Many homeowners are finding themselves in with a house that they owe more than its current market value. So what should you do? Here are some options for homeowners with “underwater” mortgages: Stay and Pay Compare the monthly mortgage payment, plus carrying costs like repairs, homeowner dues and taxes, to the cost of renting. If you decide to stay and pay, you may be able to get financial help to catch up with payments if you run into a financial hardship. For example, the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP) provides interest-free loans to homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgages. Make sure to check with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency in your area to find out which programs may be available to you. Refinance The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) helps homeowners who qualify refinance into a low, fixed-rate loan. The program has been extended through June 2012. For those who qualify, the terms are similar to those of any other conventional loan, but without the steep mortgage insurance that is typically required when there is less than 20% equity in the home. Loan Modification A loan modification means lenders lower the interest rate and payment, either temporarily or permanently. Lenders will also typically extend the term of the loan or to allow borrowers to make up missed payments by tacking them onto the end of the loan or spreading them out over the remainder. The most well-known modification program is the government-initiated Home Affordable Modification Program. The Treasury Department reports that homeowners who were successful in getting permanent modifications on their loans through this program saw a median reduction in their monthly payment of 40 percent—more than $520 each month—amounting to a program-wide savings for homeowners of an estimated $4.5 billion. Short Sale A short sale is when you sell your home for less than you owe. For the homeowner/seller, the goal is to get the lender to approve a short sale and forgive any remaining debt. Lenders do not always accept a short sale. It seems to make sense rather than allowing a home to go into foreclosure, but the red tape involved in a short sale can sometimes be overwhelming. The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative program (HAFA) is a government-initiated short sale program. Foreclosure According to RealtyTrac, one in every 605 homes received a foreclosure filing notice in May 2011. Foreclosure can have financial, legal and tax implications. For many homeowners, this is their last alternative. Bankruptcy If you need to stop a pending foreclosure, bankruptcy may halt a foreclosure long enough to get a loan modification considered. Filing Chapter 13 can help you catch up on payments over five years without interest. You may be able to reduce or eliminate other debts, freeing up more money to pay toward the home mortgage so you can get back to positive equity more quickly. This can be a very serious decision so it is imperative that you talk with a bankruptcy attorney before the foreclosure or short sale is completed.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 10/25/2012

Unfortunately, many homeowners have gone through a foreclosure in recent years but that doesn't mean that future homeownership is out of the question. Hard work and discipline and these tips should have you on the road to homeownership again soon. 1. Keep a steady job Potential lenders will need to see stable employment before they’ll approve a mortgage loan after a foreclosure. 2. Build your savings Rebuild your savings account. You will want to establish a minimum of six months of living expenses in a liquid account. Mortgage companies will want to see you have a cushion to pay your bills. 3. Work on your credit score After foreclosure, your credit score probably dropped by about 150 points. Rebuilding your score will take time, hard work and perseverance. Pay all of your bills on time and make sure to keep your credit card balances below maximum levels. It is best to have the balance less than half of the available balance. If you stay disciplined and positive, the American dream—obtaining a mortgage and owning a home of your own—can, indeed, be yours again. Even after foreclosure.    







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